Friday, November 18, 2016

Another Letter to My Congressman Raul Labrador

During the campaign, President-elect Trump argued for a national reciprocity law that would require every state to recognize concealed carry permits issued by any other state, rather like the way they recognize driver's licenses issued by other states.  Please introduce such a bill.

Opponents will complain this overrides state power to make their own laws.  But the safe transit provision of the Firearms Owners Protection Act of 1986 (18 USC 926A) does something similar by allowing the transport of guns from state A to state B through state X if the possession of the gun is lawful in states A and B.  And of course, states already recognize out of state driver's licenses.  And the Supreme Court in McDonald v. Chicago (2010) has recognized that the "right to keep and bear arms" applies to the states, just like the rest of the Bill of Rights overwhelms state rights' claims.

Some will argue that this law would mean every state would have to recognize licenses from states with relatively lax concealed weapon permit laws, and which issue to residents of other states, such as Washington State.  If this objection is raised, the bill could specify that it only applies to non-residents of the state.  Federal law is already sufficient to prosecute convicted felons, domestic violence misdemeanants, and those prohibited on the other grounds listed in 18 USC 922(d).
The same objection about lax license laws equally applies with respect to driver's licenses which authorize people to operate a powerful and potentially lethal weapon on public roads.

There are a surprising number of tourists arrested and convicted in restrictive states such as New York and New Jersey for unknowingly violating the restrictive laws of these states.  This needs to stop.

Let me emphasize that the "limited to non-residents" idea is a compromise, just like some of the "shall-issue" laws were often complex and limiting at first, but were eventually improved with positive experience of the laws.


  1. You will have then eliminated the potential of allowing those who live in a number of states that only issue permits as may-issue, to carry. That's a LOT of people. CA currently honors NO OTHER permits, for instance, and is a may-issue system in most of the state. Other states are similar, if they even HAVE a permit system.

  2. change potentially lethal to frequently lethal

  3. Will: That was a compromise point. Once the sky doesn't fall, forcing shall-issue is easier like the states where shall-issue was unnecessarily complex, but eventually simplified the process, or completely eliminated licensing.

  4. Clayton,

    CA legislators will never see that point. Only being forced to accept other permits will carry the day. BTW, CA cops know if you have an out of state permit. It comes up when they run your plate. If you get stopped, they ask if you have a gun with you. People in my Bay Area cty have thousands of Utah permits, and CA lists them by county.